Claire Field on the ChatGPT challenge: way worse for VET


and after worrying about that, consider classes on YouTube

When I wrote about ChatGPT (CMM December 7), the technology was a week old (albeit older versions had been available for some time). Even as I was grappling to understand “how” it worked, it was evident that assessment in higher education would never be the same, likewise the teaching of coding.

Since then the higher education sector’s response has veered from re-embracing ‘pencil and paper testing,’ individual academics developing ‘GPT detection software’ (albeit with conversations still to be had about the related privacy and ethical issues in using them), through to the full embrace of Chat GPT in lesson planning and delivery. And of course in the schools’ sector a number of jurisdictions have banned ChatGPT in classrooms.

Two of the most useful resources I have seen in the last few weeks to assist educators deal with the implications of ChatGPT, are Swiecki et al’s ‘Assessment in the age of artificial intelligence’ and this suite of resources for teachers and students compiled by Danny Liu and colleagues at the University of Sydney.

As I noted last year, with written assessments being relatively rare in VET the impact of ChatGPT on teaching, learning and assessment are less immediate for most VET teachers. But the increased prevalence of AI will ultimately create much greater problems for VET than higher education.

That is because universities’ self-accrediting powers mean that as occupations change through the incorporation of different forms of AI, universities can readily amend their course content. Not so in VET where even if the new Jobs and Skills Councils prove more efficient than the predecessor bodies, the sector’s standardised processes for making and approving changes to national Training Packages mean VET providers will ultimately fall behind in terms of the relevance of what they are teaching.

Here are just some of the occupations/job roles already heavily reliant on AI:

* architects, furniture and interior designers * business and government data collection and processing * coding * customer service agents * developing fitness plans *editing * game creation * journalism 8 language translation * lawyers/paralegals * marketing, digital marketing * on-line coaching 8 teaching (developing lesson plans)

If that innovation was not enough, YouTube has now moved into the MOOC space. The Vlogbrothers (3.5 million YouTube subscribers) have launched Study Hall where users can take classes and gain credit for study at Arizona State University and the hundreds of US colleges which recognise ASU’s programs.

Claire Field is an advisor to the tertiary education sector



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